In the beginning…
A couple of summers ago, I was supposed to read the Scripture for our online church service. My daughter recorded me on her phone, but we were having a difficult time. The reading was only about a minute long. My daughter could only record about 30 seconds at a time. I wouldn’t even try it on my irritating device at that time. Fortunately, Dwight, the tech magician for the church, could piece the snippets together.
Then in the fall, one of my pastors asked me to read Genesis 1:1-2:4 for the Sunday school class that was starting online. It wasn’t a traditional reading, but rather a piece from something called Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible. The book was edited by Elizabeth F. Caldwell and Carol A. Wehrheim.
Clearly, I needed a different way to record the new video. The reading is nearly three minutes long. Hey, wait! My free ZOOM account allows for recording, doesn’t it? The button along the bottom suggests it does.
I tried a couple of test runs. First, I needed to actually FIND where the video resided. Here’s a YouTube video for that. Ah, the file is an MP4.
Nuts. The sun from behind the blinds kept changing in intensity. On the finished product, my head looks shiny on the top, as it often does. My eye contact with the camera was only so-so. The video, though, was more than adequate for the purpose, I was told.
Hmm. I think I have a YouTube channel, somehow tied to my Google account. Indeed I do. It has links to other people’s videos I would watch if there were 48 hours in a day. I download the file. Voila, I have my first YouTube video.
I suppose you thought I was going to link to it. Nah. I just wanted to share the fact that because of the pandemic, I did a new thing.
Sigh. OK. Here it is. My favorite is the test video because I REALLY didn’t know what I was doing.
it’s a good thing I know our license plate number
Attestation seems like a very fancy term, maybe a serious disease. It is actually “a legal acknowledgment of the authenticity of a document and a verification that proper processes were followed.” When I digitally enter my Census timesheet, I have to attest that I worked those hours. Before my wife goes to school, she has to promise that she’s taken her temperature and is well enough to come in.
We both need to wear masks to work. As noted, my head is bigger than hers, bigger in fact than most people’s. She apparently didn’t notice this at first and randomly assigned the first masks to us and our daughter randomly. But now she can tell, just by looking, which mask belongs to whom; I cannot.
It always reminds me of The Price is Right
We got A NEW CAR! Most of the summer, my wife admittedly obsessed with the price of used RAV4s. This editor’s letter in the August 28 issue of The Week actually mirrored her experience.
“Every dealer I spoke with had sold out of decent and affordable used autos…” This is a function of the pandemic, but also “some of the cash they might have splashed on vacations or restaurant meals is instead going to new wheels.”
That was certainly true of us. We had a vacation budget that went unspent. So the used vehicle is instead a current one. My wife bought it out of town for logistical reasons, so I never saw it until four days after she purchased it.
I only recently discovered that my wife is also a fan of finding helpful hints on YouTube videos. I’ve been watching them for years – here’s one on changing the battery on a CVS bathroom scale, which is similar to one I used.
The recent requirement I had involved not just recording on Zoom, which I figured out. My question was to FIND my #ZOOM RECORDINGS, which I needed to retrieve so I could read to our Sunday school class.
On my cellphone recently, I received a text that read “[Tik Tok] **** is your verification code, valid for five minutes. To keep your account safe, never forward this code.” Since I’ve never been on Tik Tok, I will assuredly abide by this.
Speaking of cellphones, I got some bogus company calling my Census phone to say it was needing to update my system. Spammers are everywhere. I ignored it, correctly.
Surprise money. I got a check from Wells Fargo for $159.13 for some fiscal malfeasance that they had undoubtedly committed. I’ve gotten these types of checks before, but usually, they are for $7.81, or at the most $24.59.
The good old days
I was looking to find a list of the current members of the Cabinet because, geez, who can keep track? On Google, page one, there’s a pulldown list that lists Barack Obama’s cabinet, fueled from this page. I have a… certain disdain for the current batch, especially Bill Barr. But you knew that, didn’t you?
The year’s worst falsehoods and bogus claims
Fiction from the New Yorker: Cat Person
Mark Evanier has been blogging for 17 years this month, a site I check out daily
Now I Know: The People Who Protect Chewbacca and The Worthless $65 Million Masterpiece That Cost $29 Million and The Town That Pays Criminals to Cut it Out and The Accidental Masterpiece and The New York Police Department’s Giant Problem and The People Who Protect Chewbacca
TICKS, MANY OF THEM
The Whoppers of 2017: the year’s worst falsehoods and bogus claims
“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet – It’s a real, powerful set of ideas
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” – Augustine of Hippo
The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast 2017 and 1957
YouTube’s highest paid stars – who ARE these people? I’m old
Was this some sociological experiment, a sorority hazing, or some reality show prank?
It was a REALLY busy month in November. Besides church on Sunday and daughter’s rehearsal on Monday nights for a production at church in March, and choir rehearsal on Thursday nights (except on Thanksgiving):
6th – The church choir sang, for First Friday, VESPERAE DE DOMINICA by Mozart, with a dress rehearsal on the 4th.
Earlier that day, I went to the urgent care place. Four days earlier, I had a standard #2 pencil in a pair of pants poke through my pants pocket, and I managed to jab my left index finger enough that it drew blood. I didn’t know until later that a piece of the point embedded in my fingertip. So the doctor “froze” my finger, and removed the piece of graphite.
7th – Albany Symphony Orchestra concert. Actually, I ended up not going, and The Wife went with a friend because we couldn’t get a
babysitter child watcher for The Daughter.
8th – After church, I recorded a piece for possible inclusion on the church’s YouTube channel. It sounded OK, but there was too much light, and I ended up rerecording it the following Sunday.
9th – Saw my doctor for a follow-up visit after hernia surgery. Said I was good to go, but in a more poetic form that I wish I could replicate.
11th – I spent my Veterans Day working on some items for the Friends of the Albany Public Library. That evening, a group of dads from the church got together.
13th – Polina.
14th – In the morning, a meeting of Friends of various Friends of Library groups. Not incidentally, I’ve been asked to write an article about Friends groups for the New York Library Association journal, due at the end of the month; as of this date, I have written precisely nothing, in part because the Wife had this presentation at a conference which involved not only her use of the computer but extra watching of the Daughter.
I got a very necessary, actually overdue haircut, mostly for the beard, which I don’t get shaved clean because of the discoloration from the vitiligo on my lower face. That evening, the Albany Public Library Foundation gala.
15th – One of our choir members, Alex Rosa , is a senior at the College of Saint Rose, and he gave his senior recital, which was quite good. Afterward, his parents, who are lovely people, put out a nice spread of food to eat.
17th – The Laurie Anderson movie at the Spectrum.
18th – At work, I gave a talk to a Chinese delegation from one of the larger provinces. They primarily wanted me to talk about intellectual property – copyright, patent and trademark – but they were most attentive during the brief section about credit scores. Afterward, as is their custom, they gave me a gift, which looks like this:
Yes, it’s a wooden comb.
21st – We saw the Capitol Steps, an American political satire group that “put the MOCK in democracy” at The Egg, a performance venue at the Empire State Plaza. The group, which initially included Congressional staffers from both parties, “has been performing since 1981, and has released over forty albums consisting primarily of song parodies.” The Wife and I saw them several years ago at Proctor’s in Schenectady.
Among other things in their rapid-fire presentation, they addressed the Greek financial crisis with songs from the musical Grease. It ends with one male cast member reciting a talk in which he reverses some consonants regularly; Borge W. Gush, e.g. it’s not only funny, it’s difficult to do.
22nd – We traversed over an hour to some school in an out-of-the-way location in western Massachusetts to see the premiere performance for the season of the Albany Berkshire Ballet presentation of The Nutcracker. The Daughter had done this production thrice, always as an angel, but her friend and former classmate “Elsie” has been, over eight years, a clown, a party child, and finally, Clara. She was really good, always staying in character.
Then Elsie’s family, our family, and some other friends went out to a Friendly’s restaurant in East Greenbush, NY; all the Friendly’s in Albany County closed many months ago.
Our family told the story about how, shortly after the Wife had come home after dropping off the child sitter the previous night, some young woman rang our doorbell, after 10 pm. We’ve had such a rotation of students as neighbors that we didn’t recognize this one. She had some yellow makeup, or something, caked on her face. She wanted to borrow a cup of sugar for baking, which we gave her, after putting our watchcat in the basement.
The discussion at Friendly’s centered on whether this was some sociological experiment, a sorority hazing, or some reality show prank. Collectively, we thought the idea of “borrowing” a cup of sugar, from a stranger, a couple of hours before midnight, was bizarre, with the 24-hour Price Chopper only three blocks away.
Elsie’s older sister allowed that, when she was living in an apartment in New York City, she went to neighbors’ apartments, including ones she didn’t know, looking for a ladle for a punch bowl, because, as I said, pouring punch from a mere cup would have been SO declasse. If you had been there, this would have been a hilarious exchange.
26th – Movie (reviewed eventually)
27th – Travel to Oneonta, about 75 minutes away, for Thanksgiving, returning the next day.
28th – Movie (reviewed soon)
30th – Take off day to work on many items, including agenda for Friends of the APL meeting that night. That paper that hung over my head like Damocles’ sword was finished; whether it is any good remains to be seen.
Uncharacteristically, December should be less busy, after this week, with only a wedding and the usual Christmas church events on the agenda. I might even participate in Trouble with Comics again.